All articles

Colleges for Undocumented Students

College campus with autumn tress and open field

Sometimes we hear the question, "can undocumented students go to college?" And the answer is YES! There are colleges that not only accept undocumented students but also offer them in-state tuition and even financial aid. 

If you're looking for schools that accept undocumented students, this is probably really good news for you. And it is to us as well since we're big advocates for expanded access to higher education. So let's discuss some of these institutions and states that make college more attainable for undocumented students.

Private Colleges: Accepting Undocumented Students as Domestic Students

Many colleges consider undocumented students to be international students, which means that undocumented students might have to compete with other international students for a limited pool of financial aid. But, when a college considers an undocumented student to be domestic, the student will be more likely to receive a good financial aid package.

The following private colleges have public policies on their acceptance of undocumented students as domestic students:

  1. Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.)
  2. Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio)
  3. Tufts University (Medford, Mass.)
  4. Emory University (Atlanta)
  5. Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, Pa.)


States Offering Undocumented Students In-State Tuition

Undocumented students, including students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, are not eligible to receive federal financial aid. However, undocumented students may be eligible for state student financial aid in some states.

Undocumented students who attended high school for at least the last two years in certain states could be eligible for in-state tuition. As of 2021, the following states allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition:

  1. Arkansas
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Florida
  6. Hawaii
  7. Illinois
  8. Kansas
  9. Maryland
  10. Michigan
  11. Minnesota
  12. Nebraska
  13. New Jersey
  14. New Mexico
  15. New York
  16. Oklahoma
  17. Oregon
  18. Rhode Island
  19. Texas
  20. Utah
  21. Virginia
  22. Washington

A number of these states also allow undocumented students to receive state-level financial aid, including California, Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. However, we recommend reaching out to college financial aid offices to learn more since this list is hopefully growing all the time. You can also visit this Higher Ed Immigration Portal for an interactive map. 

Colleges That Meet 100 Percent of Financial Need for Undocumented Students

College Greenlight has a list of more than 30 colleges that meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for undocumented students. These colleges pledge to meet a student’s full needs through grants, student employment, scholarships, and, in some cases, student loans. Schools on this list vary in how they meet undocumented students’ demonstrated financial needs. 

Of course, there are costs students need to cover beyond tuition. That's where our scholarship search tools can help. Click the link below to create a free Appily account to search and save the schools we mentioned above and then see their acceptance rates. It's quick, easy, and always free.  

Enter to win our $1,000 Appily Easy Money Scholarship. No essay or minimum GPA required.

Create a free Cappex account to find, finance, and attend the college that’s right for you Get Started Now